Thursday, August 15, 2013

American Peony Society Report
By Dana Tretheway, President 

The American Peony Society Board of -Directors and members recently met at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA, for the 2013 Convention and Exhibit. The entire affair was a wonderful
experience for all the members who enjoyed behind the scene tours of the daily operation at Longwood and casual strolls through the many individual gardens and conservatory. Flowers, unusual plants, water fountains and features were just everywhere on the property. 
On Friday the 31st of May, the members enjoyed their tours followed by a wonderful lunch in the “Founder’s Room” of Longwood Garden Restaurant. During the afternoon, many of the members just wondered  the gardens and conservatory taking in all the beautiful sites and scents. The APS Board of Directors met for their annual meeting. As an interest to all, the board voted for ‘The Mackinac Grand’ to be the 2013 Gold Medal Peony. In the evening we all met at the Longwood Gardens picnic area for our  “Taste of Philly” picnic, hosted by Eleanor and Bill Tickner. Everyone enjoyed sandwiches and drinks while catching up on all the “peony” stories. Many thanks to Eleanor and Bill for all the ground work they did preparing for the convention and exhibit. 

On Saturday, it was a busymorning for the exhibitors with set-up starting at 7am and judging starting at 11am. I was very impressed with the number of stems that made it to the show. With Design and Seedling classes included, we had  over 430 exhibits that made it to the tables. I could only imagine the vast amount of flowers we would have had if our more northern members would have had an opportunity to bring some along; unfortunately, it was just too cool of a spring in Minnesota and Wisconsin. After all was said and  done, ‘Boreas” came out as the “Best of Show”, presented by none other than Carol Adelman from Oregon. A listing of the entire results will soon be published at our website. 

Saturday evening was perhaps the most outstanding convention banquet I’ve attended, hosted by the staff of Kingwood Center in the highly ornate ballroom of the conservatory. After cocktails in a private courtyard, prior to dinner, we found our way to the dining area and were greeted by Dr. Jim Harbage, Director of  Floraculture at Kingwood Gardens. I won’t go into to details of the meal, but to say the least, it was  marvelous, well presented and very tasty indeed. 

On Sunday, many of the members headed out to Winterhur Gardens and Museum for a tour of another du Pont property while others stayed back at  Longwood to discuss peonies with the multitude of visitors to the exhibit. The exhibit was cleaned up  just after 6:00 pm and those members still around said their farewells and headed home.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Don of Peonies
By Reiner Jakubowski
For those who don't know, Don Hollingsworth was awarded the Bertrand H. Farr Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Peony Society (APS) Convention held in Longwood Gardens in early June.  Don has been an influential person in the peony world for over 40 years. Here is a bit of his history.  Elected to the Board of Directors of the APS in June 1976, he continues to this day in  that capacity. He was the President of the APS from 1986-88 and from 1993-95. Don has contributed well over 100 submissions to the APS Bulletin, beginning in March 1970, has written material written specifically for "The American Hybrid Peony."

He is an active contributor and plays a leadership role in the hybridizer's group "Paeonia." Don is the originator of 60 registered peonies, beginning with 6 in 1984, which included 'Garden Treasure', still a serious contender for the best of this type. He has been a registrant of a dozen originations from  other breeders' work in which he found value.  Then there are all those activities that can't be tabulated but include being a mentor and an adviser to up-start peony breeders as well as supporting their efforts with pollen and breeding stock from his garden. He is a strong supporter of the APS and the regional peony societies through donations of peonies for fund raising sales and auctions.

It is good that Don intends to keep his hand in the game. As A.P. Saunders, also wise, wrote many years ago:  "I have spoken elsewhere of the longevity of peony growers, and I truly believe that there is an influence that comes into our lives through a close and loving contact with the plants of earth, which keeps us sane and calm amid the uncertainties and the inevitable griefs of life, and which may very well tend thereby to lengthen our own days as well as make them happier." (A. P. Saunders, March, 1922.)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

With many thanks

By  Rose Mary Mason, City of Oshawa

The focal point of this festival – the Peony Garden – would not have been possible without two special people. Michael and Judi Denny are the reason we are here today.

When a long time Peony collection was being dismantled, they offered to take in the orphaned plants, keep them on their property and to find a permanent home. The Wally Gilbert Collection was the basis of today’s peony garden and Judi and Michael have had their hands on each and every one of the plants. In addition, the Denny’s have donated, from their own impressive collection, many plants over the years to enhance Canada’s largest contemporary collection of peonies.

Once the collection was established in Oshawa, Michael Denny has been instrumental in the production and up keep of the map listing all 308 varieties. He also visits the garden regularly throughout the growing season to document the bloom times of each variety. He has written an easy to read guide to What’s Blooming in the Garden that can be found on the City’s web site at

Avec beaucoup de remerciements

Par Rose Mary Mason, Ville d’Oshawa

Le point focal de ce festival, le Jardin de pivoines,  n'aurait pas été possible sans la participation de deux personnes spéciales. Michael et Judi Denny sont la raison pour laquelle nous sommes ici aujourd'hui. 

Quand une vieille collection de pivoines a été démantelée, ils ont offert de garder les plants orphelins sur leur propriété et de leur trouver une maison permanente. La collection de Wally Gilbert est la base du jardin de pivoines actuel et Judi et Michael ont pris soin de chacun des plants. En outre, les Denny ont offert de leur propre et impressionnante collection beaucoup de plants au cours des années pour agrandir la plus grande collection contemporaine de pivoines du Canada.

Une fois la collection établie à Oshawa, Michael Denny a été un artisan important dans la production des plants et la mise à jour des fiches décrivant chacune des 308 variétés. Il visite également le Jardin régulièrement tout au long de la saison de croissance pour établir les temps de floraison de chaque variété. Il a écrit un guide facile à lire de ce qui fleurit dans le Jardin. On peut le retrouver sur le site Web de la ville à

Monday, August 5, 2013

President’s Message / Message du président

By David Maltby

Our annual Show of the Canadian Peony Society hosted by the members in Quebec at Rosemere was a tremendous success.  Martinus Mooijekind did a wonderful job getting the City of Rosemére on-side and the city widely advertised the show.

The show was held in the hall of the Rosemère Memorial Church.  Both on Saturday and on Sunday, it was well attended and my conservative estimate is that there were between 900 and 1,200 in attendance each day.  In terms of publicity and exposure for peonies with the public, Martinus deserves substantial congratulations for all his efforts in Rosemere and in other municipalities throughout Quebec.  It appears, he has been a whirlwind of promotion.

I have to thank all the exhibitors who cut their peonies and brought them in.  There were a total of 653 stems entered by my count, including 67 seedling entries.  Serge Fafard brought in the vast majority of these and showed a wide range of wonderful new peonies that he is working on.  Special congratulations to Hazel Cook who won the Grand Champion with a stunning flower of ‘Garden Treasure’ and special congratulations to the other members who were in the Court of Honour: Lucie Pepin, Jocelyne Boulanger, the Central Experiential Farm and Serge Fafard.

It was a wonderful time, not only seeing the show and the exhibitors entering their stems and the public attending, but also because of the warm hospitality received from the Quebec members organizing the show and the staff of the City of Rosemère, who were there both days providing assistance and even a champagne reception on Sunday. Merci à tous.

A heartfelt thanks is extended to Martinus for all his services in promoting peonies.

In 2014, the show and AGM moves to Winnipeg at the Assiniboine Gardens. The Assiniboine Gardens are definitely worth the trip. June 14th 15th, 2014, it is; so mark your calendars and plan to attend.


Par David Maltby
L’exposition annuelle de la Société canadienne de la pivoine tenue à Rosemère, au Québec et organisée par les membres du Québec a connu un très vif succès. Martinus Mooijekind a fait un travail fantastique  afin d’encourager la ville de Rosemère à participer à l’évènement, à le faire connaître et à le publiciser.
L’exposition a eu lieu dans le hall de l’église Rosemère Memorial United. L’exposition fut très appréciée le samedi et le dimanche, et selon mon estimation, nous avons accueilli chaque jour entre 900 et 1 200 personnes. En termes de publicité et de visibilité à l’égard du grand public, Martinus mérite de sincères félicitations pour tous ses efforts, tant à Rosemère que dans les autres municipalités à travers le Québec. On peut dire que ce fut une publicité tous azimuts!
Je tiens à remercier tous les exposants qui ont apporté leurs pivoines pour les partager avec nous durant l’exposition. D’après mes calculs, un total de 653 tiges ont été exposée, dont 67 provenaient de nouveaux croisements. Serge Fafard a apporté la grande majorité de ceux-ci et nous a montré un bel assortiment des pivoines sur lesquelles il travaille. Nous adressons des félicitations spéciales à Hazel Cook, le gagnant du prix Grand Champion pour une fleur de « Garden Treasure » ainsi que des félicitations aux autres membres qui furent dans la Cour d’honneur: Lucie Pépin, Jocelyne Boulanger, la Ferme expérimentale centrale et Serge Fafard.  
Notre séjour à Rosemère a été très agréable. Nous avons apprécié la visite de l’exposition, la présence des nombreux participants qui ont exposé leurs fleurs, ainsi que celle du public qui a visité l’exposition. Et que dire de l’accueil chaleureux des membres organisateurs de l’exposition et des employés de la ville de Rosemère qui nous ont assisté durant ces deux jours et même organisé une réception au champagne le dimanche !
Un grand merci à Martinus pour ses efforts et son soutien à l’avancement des pivoines.
En 2014, l’exposition et la réunion annuelle auront lieu aux jardins du Parc Assiniboine, à Winnipeg. Ça vaut le voyage de visiter le Parc Assiniboine. Inscrivez ce rendez-vous sur votre calendrier ; il aura lieu les 14 et 15 juin 2014.